With a career in retail that spans more than 25 years, Megan Featherston knows the trends and shopping behavior of the furniture and home accessory market.
“I’m really wired for and passionate about putting the fun back in retail,” Featherston says. “Most people shop to fill a void. But with everything so homogenous, it’s like [the movie] 'Groundhog’s Day.’
Then last year, Featherston noticed a problem that she knew she could solve. She saw Baby Boomers looking to downsize and get rid of some of the nice furniture they’ve acquired over the years, while Millennials are constantly searching for unique, affordable furnishings,
So earlier this month Featherston opened VNTG Home
, 1427 E. 36th
St. at Tyler Village
. VNTG Home is a multi-faceted operation: A retail outlet for used furniture; a studio to redecorate and repurpose what customers find; a service center for people looking to downsize; and a partnership with seven local non-profit organizations.
Featherston’s main mission is to serve both the Boomers and the Millennials in their furnishing needs.
First, there is the Boomer generation. “The Baby Boomers have the greatest and best lifestyles of any generation to date, and they have a lot of stuff and most of them even have storage bins full,” she explains of the Boomers. “They now have all this stuff with no way to get rid of it.”
VNTG Home offers a variety of transition services
to get rid of the stuff — from estate sales and home liquidations to white glove moving services and consignment and donation options.
“We are a robust, single-solution service model for people who are downsizing because they are moving or relocating,” Featherston explains. Furthermore, VNTG Home donates a portion of its sales from donated furnishings to one of seven local charities
. And staff members will pick up donated items for free. The seller is able to take a tax deduction for the goods donated.
Then there are the Millennials. “The Millennials have the greatest amount of education than any other generation, but they just don’t have any money because they are caught in an economic trap,” explains Featherston. “They expect high style and high design, and they’re very aware of what that looks like, but they’re not able to afford nice furniture.”
For those customers looking to buy, VNTG Home repairs and cleans any furniture they sell in the 25,000-square-foot showroom. The remaining space in the 30,000-square-foot complex is used for upcycling and production studios, where customers can transform their finds into the perfect piece.
Customers can choose from 600 different fabrics
and 150 different paint techniques
to create exactly the piece they need.
Featherston offers a large assortment of Safeco
fabrics imported from France. VNTG Home is the only company in the U.S. that imports Safeco fabrics directly from the company’s mill.
“People are really gravitating toward French fabric,” Featherston explains, adding that VNTG Home’s upholstery experts and artisans can help select the right look. “We’re really inspired to provide America with affordable luxury, allow people to express their creativity and live beautifully.”
Catering specifically to the Millennials, but available to everyone, VNTG Home has an digital platform through the website to allow shoppers to select items, choose any upcycling fabrics and then come into the store. Customers who are selling pieces through the consignment program can also manage their accounts online.
“We’re not grandma’s consignment store,” says Featherston. “We know how you like to shop and when you like to shop, so we allow you to see it before you actually go to the store. You can upcycle from your phone.”
VNTG Home’s products are priced for almost any budget, and website shoppers can search by price range, style or size. Featherston spent a year prior to opening searching out furniture in Ohio and the East Coast, to make sure she had an ample selection.
“Everyone has been working really hard for a year,” she says. “Everything is one-of-a-kind, and I promise you, it will change the next time you come in.”
Featherston moved to Cleveland from New York City a few years ago for a career opportunity, but has lived all over the country. She fell in love with the city and decided to launch VNTG Home here. “I love the authenticity of it and I like the vibe,” she says. “I feel in love with the space at Tyler Village, with its huge industrial columns and ancient wooden floors. I fell in love with the tenants here.”
VNTG Home held its grand opening the weekend of May 12 and 13, coinciding with the Cleveland Flea
. “It was great,” Featherston says of the grand opening. “We sold a lot that weekend.”
Now through the end of May, new customers who spend $200 or more will received a 20 percent discount off their entire purchase. VNTG Home is open seven days a week — Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.